Originally released back in 1988, Realtime Games’ strategic vehicle sim reigned supreme, snatching a series of Game of the Year gongs and many more besides. In it, the endgame was simple: take the reigns of a gargantuan carrier craft in a blistering battle with an enemy ship and seize control of a series of islands.
For this 21st century remake, developer Bohemia Interactive (ARMA II and its smash-hit mod, DayZ) has kept the spirit and gameplay of the landmark Amiga title intact while weaving in a raft of modern day upgrades, the most obvious of which is a linear, narrative-driven campaign that amply blends first person mechanics with an on-rails shooter and the series’ standard strategic elements.
Despite the stumbling narrative and clunky voice acting it works, dutifully doubling as an extended tutorial for the game’s deeper gameplay elements while dovetailing smoothly into Carrier Command’s Strategy mode, a beat-for-beat recreation of the classic ‘80s experience guaranteed to appease gaming purists who have had to watch in horror as classic franchises like Syndicate get rehashed in name only. Ultimately, what Bohemia has done is deliver a sound console debut that warrants, at the very least, a rental.